Windows Server 8: A big leap for Hyper-V

Microsoft's sneak peek at the Windows 8 server edition shows big Hyper-V improvements for scalability and replication

There's a lot of hype around Windows 8 these days. Just this week, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky released the first post of the Building Windows 8 blog, which promises an inside look from the Windows engineering team. In that post, he says, "Windows 8 reimagines Windows."

On the desktop side, Windows can go in any of several directions, but from the Window Server side, it's exciting to consider what next steps Microsoft might take.

[ Read more from J. Peter Bruzzese about the potential Hyper-V 3.0 benefits coming in Windows 8. | In IT today, the action is in the private cloud. InfoWorld's experts take you through what you need to know to do it right in our "Private Cloud Deep Dive" PDF special report. | Also check out our "Cloud Security Deep Dive," our "Cloud Storage Deep Dive," and our "Cloud Services Deep Dive."]

Microsoft has said Windows 8 Server has 100 or so new features, but the main focus was on Hyper-V and a new feature called Hyper-V Replica that provides "asynchronous, application-consistent virtual machine replication." At Windows 8's recent partial unveiling, Microsoft demonstrated a mission-critical SQL VM being replicated from a private cloud to the offsite data center with a few clicks.

Microsoft also showed Hyper-V supporting 16 virtual processors per VM, up from the 4 supported today -- and Microsoft didn't say that 16 was the limit. Microsoft made bold promises about huge scalability that would support a private cloud strategy by IT.

So where does this leave us? Microsoft is hosting its Build event on Sept. 13-16, where it's said more details on Windows 8 will be shared with developers. The word on the street is that Microsoft will open the doors fully, so we'll have a lot more to report about on Windows 8 for desktops, laptops, tablets, and -- my favorite -- servers then.

The next logical question is "When will we see an actual release?" It's likely the Windows 8 desktop and client will be released in tandem, as was the case with Windows 7. One Microsoft VP, Dani Lewin, hinted at an autumn 2012 release, whereas well-known Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley wrote about a potential April 2012 release. Judging from past release dates, it's anyone's guess at this point.

This article, "Windows Server 8: A big leap for Hyper-V," was originally published at Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.